7 February 2011
By Al Green
If you leave aside for a moment the pomp and pageantry of the Olympics, the ridiculous opening ceremony with its hour long tedious spectacle of unimaginatively choreographed dance routines, the representative countries marching their flag around the stadium half of whom nobody has ever heard of and the Olympic torch which, at great cost and for no apparent reason has been relayed around the world before pointlessly setting a flame alight, what are we really left with? Some people throwing stuff, jumping and running.
Instead of going on about what an honour it is to host such a noble and prestigious event, why don’t people just tell the truth- it’s boring.
Who cares how far someone can throw a javelin? And we’re not talking about sports that require a degree of finesse, touch, skill, strategy like football, tennis or cricket; we are talking about how far someone can jump into a pit of sand. Don’t get me wrong, I love sport. I will cancel any social engagement for the World Cup, draw the blinds to watch Wimbledon, switch my phone off for the ashes.
As far as I’m concerned you haven’t lived until you’ve found yourself leaping off the sofa and spilling Doritos all down your pants after watching Ted Hanky score a 180 in the BDO world championship darts final.
But are there really people out there who get that excited over pole vaulting? And where are these people the rest of the time when the Olympics aren’t on? I’ve never been in a pub on a Saturday afternoon and heard someone ask, ‘anyone know today’s triple jump scores?’
I don’t mean to be rude. If you can run 100m in 9.58 seconds like Usain Bolt can then well done. But I don’t need to see it. If it wasn’t for those good natured souls who dress up like giant chickens, the marathon would be almost coma inducing.
In fact running is such a boring thing to watch that at some point in history, to relieve the tedium of it, we decided to ask the participants to balance an egg on a spoon whilst doing it to make it more exciting.
To my mind this is a much more exciting thing to watch, combining as it does the disciplines of speed, balance and concentration, a far more difficult feat than simply running.
I’m not saying scrap the 100m sprint. Just that it might be better if you have to have both feet inside a sack while you’re doing it.
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